See More on Facebook


Which way are Sino-US ties headed?

The US has listed China as a strategic competitor and the Sino-US economic/trade conflict is a clear manifestation of this categorization.

Written by

Updated: October 9, 2019

Bidding farewell to 40 years of friendship, some in the United States want to replace cooperation with competition as the tone of Sino-US ties in future.

At present, with right-wing conservatism and nationalism peaking, the US has listed China as a strategic competitor, and the recent Sino-US economic and trade conflict is a clear manifestation of this accusation.

The US has adopted a flurry of radical and inappropriate policies and measures to counter China, exposing Washington’s short-term overanxiety. Whenever the US calms down, Beijing and Washington will return to seeking rational major power relations, but it will take time.

The US should not hold the unrealistic expectation that trade negotiations can resolve all major issues and concerns between the two countries. The current trade negotiations are the first ones opened under the threat of tariffs. The difficulty is unprecedented.

It is even more difficult to resolve anything in months if the negotiations cover issues like tariff and non-tariff barriers, investment and market access, agriculture and the service industry, intellectual property protection, technology transfer, exchange rates and enforcement mechanisms.

The US should not set an unrealistic negotiation schedule, which reflects its anxiousness and greed for success. It should recognize that it is impossible to find a complete solution to structural problems in the short term. It is also unrealistic to expect trade negotiations to resolve all major issues and concerns between the two countries.

The Sino-US economic and trade negotiations could head in one of three directions.

The first is the resumption of negotiations and conclusion of an agreement in the coming months, something the market expects. China and the US are complementary in terms of economy and trade. In fact, economic sectors of both countries as well as the global market expect a trade agreement acceptable to both sides to emerge in the near future.

However, this scenario will emerge only if the two countries truly respect each other and hold realistic targets. It is particularly crucial for the two sides to arrive at an agreement on the elimination of punitive tariffs and on implementation mechanisms.

In the second scenario, negotiations could lead to a stalemate. The negotiations could continue till next year. China and the US might require a long time to arrive at an agreement.

During this period, the US will maintain tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China will continue to implement countermeasures. The US is likely to impose tariffs on another US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods and crackdown on Chinese technology companies to maximize pressure.

The Chinese side will continue to maintain rational restraint, but the economies of both China and the US will suffer continuous damage, and the global economy will continue to face uncertainty.

In the third scenario, it might be difficult for China and the US to arrive at an economic and trade agreement approved by both sides. The US will continue to implement a hawkish policy and impose punitive tariffs on all Chinese goods. China will be forced to adopt comprehensive countermeasures.

In such a scenario, the Sino-US economic and trade conflict will not only undermine the economic growth of China and the US, but will also bring horrific damage to the global economy.

China must work hard toward the best situation, but at the same time it must prepare for the worst. In the past year, China responded rationally to unilateral actions by the US, taking countermeasures on the same scale. But it also actively sought dialogue, consultation and negotiation. The Chinese side also conveyed to the US that if it wants to fight, China will accompany it to the end.

China has the confidence to fight the US because it boasts an enormous manufacturing capacity and a large global market share and holds the interests of US companies in China as a bargaining chip.

Sino-US competition in the high-tech industry is normal market competition. But the US is trying in vain to combat the development of China’s high-tech industry by imposing higher tariffs.

On the one hand, China’s high-tech products are exported not only to the US market but also to the global market.

On the other hand, China’s high-tech industry development has its own unique development track and characteristics, and is supported by China’s comprehensive industrial system. In recent years, with the expansion of R&D investment from the government and enterprises, China’s overall innovation and R&D capabilities have been continuously enhanced.

The US trying to slow down the development of China’s high-tech industry with tariff policies can only stimulate China’s indigenous innovation capability and increase its efforts to expand the global market.

Economic globalization means that the global trade order and economic order are of paramount importance. China currently advocates maintaining the existing order and promoting World Trade Organization reform.

China, together with its global value chain partners, will jointly safeguard the multilateral trading system.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


Ayodhya: Coming full circle

Ishan Joshi writes about the recent Ayodhya verdict. Nearly 27 years to the day when as a raw 20-year-old political reporter for The Statesman I reached Ayodhya to cover the run-up to and, as it happened, the aftermath of the demolition of a medieval mosque on 6 December 1992, my primary concern was to find out whether I would get eggs for breakfast. Information I had picked up on the drive down from the state capital Lucknow to Ayodhya was that the temple town, in keeping with its status as a holy city, did no “non-veg.” Such things were important to me, then.  Now, in an effort to prolong my late youth, as it were, oats/idli/low-fat yogurt and the like are my victuals of choice for breakfast. But that’s not all that’s changed. The Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ayodhya Case last week means a Ram Temple will soon be built

By Ishan Joshi
November 18, 2019


Death of militant heads will stunt recruitment but not kill it

ISIS has a foothold in Southeast Asia. The deaths of Malaysian militant leaders Akel Zainal and Mohd Rafi Udin will reduce the intensity of recruitment for the Islamic State (IS) but not completely kill it, says a terrorism expert. Dr Ahmad El-Muhammady, a political science lecturer at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, said the recruitment of Malaysians into the terror group might continue undetected in some cases. “Their deaths will certainly have an impact among Malaysian IS fighters. While their deaths may reduce the intensity of recruitment, it will not completely kill it, ” he said. Commenting on the power vacuum among Malaysian IS fighters in Syria following the deaths of Akel and Mohd Rafi, Dr Ahmad said there was no longer a central Malaysian figure in Syria.

By The Star
November 15, 2019


The government has undermined education

A core value for a country to develop, the federal govenrment must make amends. The High-Level National Education Commission was formed in 2018 to recommend steps to better the country’s education system. After much criticism regarding the secrecy surrounding the findings of the commission, the Education Ministry finally, made public portions of the new education policy. But it seems all is still not well. Analysts and commission members were quick to point out that the new policy has disregarded almost all of the commission’s recommendations, mainly the part where private schools were required to be transformed from ‘for-profit’ to ‘not-for-profit’. Findings of the commission are important documents that ne

By The Kathmandu Post
November 11, 2019


Internet freedom under threat in Asia

Government surveillance and deteriorating rights contribute to an imbalanced outlook in Asia. The story Freedom House’s latest report tells about global internet freedom is grim. Of the 65 countries assessed in the report—which looked at events across the globe between June 2018 and May 2019—33 countries experienced deteriorating internet liberty. It’s the ninth year in a row that web freedom has declined. Two major themes emerge in Freedom House’s 2019 findings in terms of the ways the internet is being used to undermine freedoms—first, as a tool to manipulate electoral processes, and second, as a tool to surveil, monitor and target populations. The report highlighted a handful of countries in the region where these trends are particularly noteworthy. Electoral manipulation On the

By Quinn Libson
November 11, 2019


South-east Asia expects long fight against ISIS influence

They say militant group remains capable and dangerous even after death of leader. South-east Asian countries fighting the influence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the region have lauded the killing of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but said security forces were preparing for a long battle to thwart the militant group’s ideology. The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, home to some of Asia’s most organised Islamist militants, said on Monday that they were prepared for retaliation by ISIS loyalists, including “lone wolf” attacks by locals radicalised by the group’s powerful online propaganda. Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel in north-west Syria by detonating a suicide vest as United States forces closed in, according to US President Donald Trump. Though his death will unsettle ISIS, it remains capable and dangerous, sa

By The Straits Times
November 1, 2019


Asia vulnerable to rising sea levels

According to new research, much of Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City are projected to be below high-tide by 2050. New research published Tuesday finds that previous projections for the number of people who will be impacted by sea level rise have been too optimistic. A new projection method which uses artificial intelligence has found that as many as 150 million people are currently living on land that will be below the high-tide line by 2050, three times more than previously thought. And much of the impacts of sea level rise will be felt by a handful of coastal Asian countries. The paper, which was published in the journal Nature Communications, estimates that 70 percent of the total number of people worldwide currently living on vulnerable land are in eight Asian countries: China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippine

By Quinn Libson
November 1, 2019